The extravagant absurdity of this chiller from screenwriter Lorcan Reilly and director Alberto Corredor might conceivably get it an audience. There are some interesting touches, but horror fans might well feel that it’s just too similar to the recent and frankly superior Australian film Talk to Me – though it must be said that Talk to Me was made well after Reilly and Corredor’s original 2017 short, with the same high concept, on which this is based.
Iris, played by Freya Allen, is a young woman who has a strained relationship with her father, played by Peter Mullan. After his passing, she is surprised to discover that he has left her an eerie old pub. This pub hides a 400-year-old she-devil in its basement, known as “Baghead” due to her face being covered by a sack. When requested, Iris can summon the spirit of any deceased person for a two-minute conversation. However, if the conversation lasts longer, the spirit will be released into the world of the living. A troubled and passionate man named Neil, played by Jeremy Irvine, arrives at the pub and offers Iris a large sum of money in exchange for the chance to speak with his deceased wife. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse.
Neil’s initial encounter with Baghead presents an amusing and insightful take on his fear of women. However, the rest of the film is a chaotic jumble of overused jump scares and characters suddenly speaking with deep, demonic voices and having blackened eyes during frightening moments. The story has been oddly relocated to Berlin, potentially due to funding from a European co-production, but without a clear explanation as to how a Scottish man (Mullan) ended up owning a pub named The Queen’s Head in Berlin. This added element of awkwardness greatly detracts from the overall quality of the film.